Who is Bill Palmer?
I was not quite 17 when I first started down this path. Although I had grown up in a conservative family with traditional values, we had attended church only rarely. I had owned a copy of the Bible for years, but had never read it. It was simply too difficult to understand.
That’s where I was when I got into a discussion with a friend from high school. I discovered that this young man had strong religious beliefs. That shocked me, mostly because I had always considered devout Christians to be naïve, or even simple-minded. My friend, however, was nothing of the sort. He was extremely intelligent, even scoring as a bona fide genius in testing. That’s what first intrigued me.
During the course of the conversation, my friend challenged other assumptions as well. When I suggested that the Bible contradicted itself (merely repeating what I had heard so often — and had accepted uncritically), he did not argue. Instead, he asked “Where?” Of course, having not yet read the Bible, I had no answer. And I realized that I was the ignorant one!
From that point forward, our discussion was always in my mind. It was actually a bit inconvenient because I had other, more important things to do with my life — or so I thought! Eventually, though, I started attending church. That’s when the struggle to learn how to study the Bible began for me.
Attending Ambassador College in Pasadena, California, was the beginning of a solution. While at this Bible college, I learned quite a bit about the Bible. What I never studied in any depth, though, was something I discovered later in a master’s level program at Azusa Pacific University — the inductive method.
My intention while pursuing a master’s degree was not to become accepted in the academic world as a biblical scholar. I was already writing for The Plain Truth, a Christian magazine. My dream was to become a better intermediary between the academic world and everyday Christians struggling to learn from the Bible.
I still do that today, speaking in my local church as well as writing freelance articles for Discern magazine. And now, of course, I hope to offer you some help as well!